Math 3 Honors Lockhart

Name: Junnifer Ngo
Complete by January 03
Turn in procedure: Link this to your DP and send me the link

Part 1: Problem Summary
Learning Statement
Tell the story of the problem you chose and how you made sense of it. Describe the mathematical
concepts that you explored throughout this problem.
● How did you attempt to solve it?
● What did you find intriguing about the problem?
● What did you grapple with?
● What habits of a mathematician did you use and why?

Beautiful Sketches and Example

Amazing Narratives
This problem deemed to be more difficult than
it first appeared, like many of Lockhart’s
questions. In this problem, In this problem,
Lockhart shows a cube with a sphere inside.
He asks if the sphere makes up half of the cube
or more? I’ve been asked this before and the
answer seemed to obviously be yes if the
sphere touched each end of the cube, however,
I never knew how to explain it
mathematically. Through some bantering
with friends and trying out a few different
methods, I was able to figure out how to prove
the sphere was indeed larger than half the
cube.
First, I struggled with myself for a bit. I knew
it had to do with something with volume
thanks to the familiar shapes and
understanding that I wanted to find if the
sphere’s volume was larger or equal to that of
the cube. I split them up and wrote down the
equations of each shape. Then I felt lost again.
I didn’t really know where to go from there.
Thankfully, I had another peer working on this
problem with me and we realized that if the
sphere was touching the faces of the cube, the
diameter would be the same as the length of
cube. Using that, I found a temporary

substitute for the radius.
After than, I went on to expanding (L2 )3 in order
to get rid of the denominator. I was able to
π × L 3 and using this, I divided it by L 3 to get
6
the percentage of the cube that the sphere
3
took up. π×L
The L 3 cancel out leaving π6
6×L 3
which is 0.52359877559 or 52%. So ​YES​ the
sphere takes up at least half of the cube.
In the end, I used collaboration the most. It
always seems that I know where to start but
then get lost of what to do. My peers are great
in order to push me to look in another
direction and see what I can try next. I also
really appreciate them being there to explain
what I can’t understand. However, I also made
sure to simplify the problem. I noticed that
when I don’t remember to simplify my
problems, I end up making my life a lot more
complicated, getting large numbers that start
to confuse me. So I made sure to use that skill
when I got lost and it helped a lot.

Beautiful Sketches and Example

Amazing Narratives
Why is the product of two even numbers
always divisible by four?
● How did you attempt to solve it?
○ At first I tried to use algebra,
coming up with nothing really. I
tried to write an equation but
the variables never really made
sense so I quickly scrapped that.
I resorted to drawing out my
division like I had been forced to
in elementary. I figured that if
this was about the basics of
divisions, it be best of use the
basic method of divisions:

drawing groups. Using 6 × 2 , I
drew out six groups of two
clouds. As I looked at the
diagram, I realized that when
multiplying even numbers, you
can always split the groups into
pairs. It’s part of the reason that
makes them even numbers. No
matter how many pairs there
are, it will be divisible by four, as
it is the smallest even number,
excluding two as it can only be
produced by multiplying two
and one, an odd number.
What did you find intriguing about the
problem?
○ Like the previous problem, I’ve
encountered this question
before with no answer. Noticing
this problem, I wanted to try to
understand the proof behind
this. It might be because I felt
that I understood simple
division but when being
confronted of a deeper answer, I
fall short, but I always find
myself more invested in
seemingly simple questions
than complex math problems.
What did you grapple with?
○ I didn’t have as much difficulty
on this problem as the others,
however, I did need to go back
to drawing out the problem and
looking for patterns. I’m glad I
was able to find the pattern so
quickly and I hope to continue
improving that.
What habits of a mathematician did
you use and why?
○ Although I did not need to
collaborate on this problem, I
did need to seek patterns and
start small. Even in elementary,

I never drew out my math work
like the other kids because I had
been taught prior to be efficient
by using just numbers and
mentally figuring out my
problems. Remembering that
the basics can hold the biggest
clues was a fun thing to test.